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Friday 28th May 2004

CNPS numbers spotted 1 (768).

I took 33 to the dating based play "The Shape of Things". It's about the way that going out with someone can change us and how sometimes people can be moulded into something new by their partners. It's a self-professed cross between Pygmalion and Frankenstein (it even includes the obligatory discussion about the fact that Frankenstein is the name of the doctor, not the monster- though not the more interesting and unusual discussion that the doctor's name was actually spelt and pronounced Frankingstein - check the book, you will see I am right ). It is all right and there is a bare lady in it, so it is well worth a look - though surprisingly the theatre was pretty empty. Which made me feel better about the audience numbers I got during my last London run. I had more than this on a Friday and I am not from off of Hollywood and didn't have to resort to getting my tits out.
If you are planning to go and see it don't read the rest of this entry as I am going to give away the ending.
Essentially the play is about a geeky guy, who meets a cool artist, who then spends weeks changing him into a cool guy. He starts wearing fashionable clothes, goes to the gym and even has cosmetic surgery to please her.
It turns out though that the artist has been doing all this as part of a project. In essence he is her work of art and all the dating and sex they have been having was just a sham on her part to effect these changes. Has the artist gone too far by affecting people's lives and ignoring their emotions in the pursuit of her work? Yes, obviously. I sat there at the end thinking it was slightly ridiculous. Sure the playwright is trying to make points about the nature of art and also the way that people can change under the influence of a lover, but it felt like too extreme a point. No artist would go this far and feel comfortable with the emotional wreckage they left behind them, surely. No-one would exploit real people and play with their emotions and date them just for a piece of art.
I am so stupid that it took me about thirty minutes to realise that it was possible for someone to do something similar in the name of art. And that that person was me. And that I had actually been sitting in the audience and doing it as the play was going on.
All right, I am not lying to anyone about it like the character in the play, but evenso I am going out on dates with the intention of turning the experience into entertainment. Like the character in the play I have taken photos of everyone, which I will be displaying in a public arena. And although the essence of my project is light-hearted and fun, I am still going on dates, I am still interacting with people, changing their worlds. Some of them, I think, have liked me a little, I have liked some of them a little. And even though they know I am currently seeing 49 other people, there might be some hope in certain corners that there may come a day when I am only seeing perhaps 25 of these. And that they might be one of my special 25.
Emotions are being toyed with even if on a superficial level. I am making real connections with people, even if I am only making new friends. And yet ultimately all the dates are really happening because of my project.
I am a modern day Frankingstein (because Frankingstein was the doctor, not the monster - the girls are the monster. A monster with 50 heads, better than anything Hercules managed. 50 heads that will one day appear in an unusual disembodied choir).
The consequences of this art-work could be far reaching. Suppose I were ultimately to settle down with as few as six of my 50 (with the bonus ball mistress hidden away in a little pied-a-terre somewhere that my suspicious wives don't know about), suppose one of my girls is lucky enough to bear my child. How will that child feel when I sit him or her down to explain that he or she is in fact the product of an experiment for a comedy show, that he or she, is in essence, a joke. Sure, I might tell the child that I love them despite this, but in our hearts we will both know that I am lying. Plus the kid is going to have to cope with the fact that he or she is the only one at school with a dad with six wives. And that he chose these wives based upon a lottery result. And don't get me started on the repurcussions when everyone finds out about my bonus ball.
I suppose the essential difference between the play and my life is that I am probably going to end up the most emotionally battered of all. I am in love with all my fifty girls (and they are all mine, so hands off) and will be heart-broken to have to select just seven to go out with forever.
And worst of all I will have 43 slighted women banging at my door. It seems wrong that so many rabbits will have to die because of my art project.
I suppose they are the true victims.
I suspect a rabbit may one day write a play about this.

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